Tokyo: The Japanese national badminton team departed from Haneda Airport on Saturday for the All England Championships that will take place in Birmingham, from March 17 to March 21.
The All England will be Momota’s first international match in 14 months since surviving a fatal car crash in Malaysia last January.
“It’s not going to be easy at any tournaments. However, I believe in what I have done so far and will fight as hard as I can. Thanks to the people who supported me and also everyone in Tohoku,” tweeted Momota.
“I don’t have any injury and I am in good condition. I want to show that I have improved and recovered from all the negative things that happened to me last year,” said Momota to Japanese media before leaving for Birmingham.
Momota and the Japanese team were originally planned to compete at the 3 back-to-back tournaments in Thailand in January 2021, however, the whole Japanese team withdrew from the tournaments at the last minute after Momota was tested positive for COVID-19 before departing for Bangkok at the Narita Airport.
This time, a total of 36 athletes, coaches, and staff members underwent the COVID-19 PCR test and all came back negative. They are expected to undergo at least three more PCR tests in England, including upon arriving in the UK, during the All England tournament, and before returning to Japan.